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Father Jonathan Hill:
Things I Learned

Eight years sounds like a long time—especially for someone like me who just wants to get out there and start serving people! But the eight years it has taken me to arrive at Ordination Day on June 1 were worth every minute. I can honestly say I learned a thing or two.

First, I had to grow. I had to understand that I wasn’t a perfectly formed human being—despite what my parents told me! And I had to focus on what formation means when you are called to the priesthood. Formation involves praying more deeply and truly understanding the Society Oath as well as the promises of chastity, obedience, and loyalty to our leadership and to our apostolic life. A little humility, I found, goes a long way.

Second, I had to become a student again and recommit myself to classroom learning. I loved my studies in philosophy and theology. But honestly, the deepest learning happened during my overseas training in Tanzania. That’s where I lived among the people, and where I found Christ in every person I was privileged to serve. I learned how to meet needs and expectations. And I began to understand the blessing of my vocation as a teacher and shepherd: I was being called to give witness to Christ’s message of salvation.

Finally, I had to spend time in reflection—something I did before joining Maryknoll but now I wanted to walk with Our Lord each step of the way and be the best messenger I could for God’s healing grace. That, I learned, requires concentrated prayer.

“… the deepest learning happened during my overseas training in Tanzania. That’s where I lived among the people, and where I found Christ in every person I was privileged to serve.”

Everyone’s calling to the priesthood or religious life is different. But as with other men I know, mine had the thumbprint of the Holy Spirit all over it. There were signs.

I was born Baptist to a religious family. While in college, I spent time in overseas mission. I helped build a hospital in Honduras, I worked with refugees in Rome, and I taught Bible school in the Philippines. These experiences opened my eyes—and eventually my heart—to other faiths.

A chance meeting with a Maryknoll priest in my home parish connected me to a whole new world. Eventually, I received an invitation to “come and see” and never turned back. God was calling me to mission as a Maryknoll priest.

I entered Maryknoll in 2010, thrilled—and grateful—for my calling. The day of my ordination to the diaconate was profound.

I felt the presence of the Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints all around me. Now I am about to be ordained a Maryknoll priest.

Thank you for being my spiritual partner in this journey of a lifetime. With your blessing, I believe I am ready to serve God and our Church. I begin my priesthood with this humble prayer: Dear Lord, may I always continue to grow in Your love. Amen.

~ Father Jonathan Hill, M.M.

Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
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The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers (Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, Inc.) is a tax exempt non-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York. Tax ID # 13-1740144.

ABOUT MARYKNOLL

We are a Catholic Society of priests and brothers based in the United States. We are dedicated to missionary work overseas in over 20 countries. Additionally, we animate Catholics in the United States to follow their own baptismal call to share God’s compassion and love with the poor, the sick, and all those in need.

OUR GENERAL COUNCIL

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Fr. Tom O’Brien, Fr. Ray Finch, Fr. Joe Everson, Fr. Russ Feldmeier)

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is overseen by our General Council, led by Superior General Fr. Ray Finch.

OUR FOUNDERS

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier

(Our Co-Founders Father Price and Father Walsh)

PLACES WE SERVE

EVANGELIZATION, PARISHES, AND PROJECTS

USA

STORIES OF MISSION

(Africa) Education and Formation of African Clergy

The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Africa Region will provide tuition assistance to African clergy, male and female religious at institutes of higher education or specialized training. Read More

Stories of Our Global Mission

The calling of a lifetime

The life of a Maryknoll missioner is challenging, fulfilling, and deeply rewarding. Follow your baptismal call to mission by sharing God’s compassion with the poor, the sick, and people most in need.

ASSOCIATE PROGRAM

Enrich your own vocation, walk-in solidarity with people overseas, and work together with Maryknoll Missioners. We offer US priests and Brothers ordained elsewhere the opportunity to work in overseas missions.

L-R Tom O'Brien, Ray Finch, Joe Everson, Russ Feldmeier
“Go where you are needed but not wanted, and stay until you are wanted but not needed.”
– Bishop James E. Walsh, M.M.
First Maryknoll Bishop
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